Alexis’ Latest Adventures in Eating

{by alexis} We all get busy, right? Sometimes, when life is especially hectic, I forgot to do things, like the dishes, sort the mail, make dinner, take the dog for forty walks a day. Guess what I don’t forget to do? Eat. I’m pretty much always eating. If I’m not eating, odds are I’m planning my next outing, poring over menus, and sending links to Alicia. What follows is a collection of the things that have been tickling my fancy in the food department these last several weeks. Grab a cup and scroll on down!

A few weekends ago, we tricked some friends of ours into having brunch with us. “Dutch babies!” I insisted. Joe was pretty sure I was suggesting a geographically specific adoption, but no! I had my eye on The Table.

The Table | Wander & Whine

This tasty infant came with warm pears folded into the center. Delish! We had cocktails, coffee, and the most beautiful roast beef sandwich I’ve ever seen.

The Table | Wander & Whine The Table | Wander & Whine The Table | Wander & Whine

You didn’t believe me, did you? That a roast beef sandwich could be so…attractive. Well, The Table just proved you wrong! That bun looks pillowy and soft and I want to make it into a sleeping bag.

On a Friday night a few weeks later, I found myself tucked away in a dim booth at Curio with Alicia and Miche, from Buttons & Birdcages. After a clumsily choreographed pizza order, we sat back with our cocktails. And I have to tell you about this amazing thing I ordered: A BOURBON MILKSHAKE.

curio | Wander & Whine

But please promise me you won’t go in and order the bourbon milkshake — that’s not what it’s called. I gave it this delightful nickname after it’s deliciousness knocked me out of my booth and I sent several frenzied, all caps text messages to folks announcing that such a cocktail exists. I can’t tell you what it’s really called because they keep their menu under wraps. What I CAN tell you is that it contains bourbon (shocker, right?) almond, cream, and soda. It is so, so good.

Late last week, one of my coworkers decided we needed a pick-me-up, and HE DELIVERED. Look at these beauties!

wander & whine

They are chocolates! Each is about the size of an egg, and they have unique flavors. I happened to sample the chocolate AND the strawberry (why stop at one!), and they were delightful! He said he grabbed them at Costco so keep your eyes peeled!

This past weekend found Joe and I both of work and without plans, so after bullying him into buying me a new pair of running shoes (I’d had my old ones since 2008!), we took ourselves out to our perennial favorite 16-Bit Bar + Arcade. I finally gave into the siren song of the Hulk Hogan, with its popsicle stirrer. NO REALLY.wander & whine

It was the bomb. And I loved how the flavored changed as the pop melted. And yes, I ate the leftovers.

We live in a beautiful city with so much crazy food to sample. Get out there and eat!

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Dinner at Wolf’s Ridge Brewing

{by alexis} I love when my parents come to town. There’s always a lot of toasting, hugs, laughter, and more than anything else, a ridiculous amount of food. Joe and I have enjoyed showing the spectacular Columbus food scene to my folks during each of their visits, and I don’t believe we disappoint too often. For their latest trip, I had booked a table at Wolf’s Ridge Brewing weeks in advance. It’s possible that this was their favorite restaurant to date.

Alicia has paid Wolf’s Ridge a visit for brunch, and had only good things to say — which, in Alicia’s native tongue, is a lot of nodding and emphatic one-word affirmatives. I hoped dinner would hold up.

If you haven’t been yet, you should go. The space has high-ceilings and an minimalist feel. And of course, they offer beer flights. You get five tasters for $8, and we were sold. Everyone picked their own and we went from there. We had an embarrassing amount of glasses on the table, but it was such fun. We had a great time reading the detailed descriptions and seeing if we could pick out the flavors.

 

wolf's ridge brewing | wander & whine

wolf's ridge brewing | wander & whine

wolf's ridge brewing | wander & whine

wolf's ridge brewing | wander & whine

Once we were nice and toasty (or as my mother would say, half in the bag), our food arrived. Joe went with the special of the evening, the lamb. I went with our other farmhouse favorites in the lamb and beef burger. My mother ordered root vegetable risotto, which doesn’t SOUND like the most interesting thing, but it was the BOMB, and my father ordered his beloved grits with shrimp. BEHOLD.

wolf's ridge brewing | wander & whine

wolf's ridge brewing | wander & whine

wolf's ridge brewing | wander & whine

The risotto (not pictured) had SO MUCH flavor. Sometimes, I feel like risotto is a success only because people love the texture, especially in the winter, but this dish outdid itself with each bite. Joe would hardly share his lamb. He said it was cooked to perfection, and the seasoning was stellar. My father’s grits were technically a small plate, but more than enough (especially when paired with a beer flight)! And my burger was beyond. I used to think I didn’t even like burgers, but I know now that I only like fancy ones made with bison or lamb, and this one fit the bill. Smooth, juicy and flavorful, it was a success. And let’s discuss the garlic fries, shall we? GARLIC FRIES. Stop reading. Go here now.

Actually, if you do, you’ll find they’ve recently put out a different menu. So if you go, call me. The new escargot and head cheese on the menu are CALLING MY NAME.

Wolf’s Ridge Brewing is located at 215 N 4th Street. Tu-Thu 10:30am-11pm; F 10:30am-12am; Sat 10am-12am; Sun 10am-10p; Mon closed.

Birthday Celebration at the Chintz Room

{by: alicia} I’ve always had an affinity for the Lazarus department store. My great grandmother Esther was an employee, and loved the company, even long after retirement. It was where she selected our birthday and Christmas gifts, and where she obtained many of the items that decorated her house. So, it was bittersweet day when the brand was absorbed into Macy’s.

Since my father was in the military, and we bopped around so much, I never got a chance to eat at the original Chintz Room. I had heard about it, as a place where ladies lunched and families went for special occasions, and maybe because of the Lazarus connection, I felt a nostalgic connection to it.

When I heard the Columbus Food League was bringing it back (in the Lazarus building, no less!), I was excited to finally try it. They had a soft open in November, and the timing was perfect because my birthday was in December. So, I pulled rank with Alexis and (blog fave) Megan to have my birthday lunch there.

The picture-taking started the moment I approached that revolving door–a nod to the old department store. There were a lot of little details like that, which I appreciated.

The Chintz Room

This entrance is so clever. I can’t take it.

Once we got inside and settled in, we got started on the difficult process of selecting what to eat. Although we were given a brunch menu, we were feeling more “lunchy” (wow, I am so eloquent), and elected to pick from the regular menu.

Everything sounded so good that it was tough to make a decision. What wasn’t difficult was Alexis’ suggestion of toasting with a bottle of prosecco. Okay, twist our arms.

The Chintz Room Menu

While we waited for our bubbles, I took a moment to soak in my surroundings. Remember those little details I mentioned earlier? The restaurant was chock full of Lazarus memorabilia and nice touches:

The Chintz Room

The Chintz Room

Our drinks were out before we knew it, and we wasted no time in clinking glasses and yelling all sorts of cheers.

Toasting at The Chintz Room

It was lovely to sip drinks, open gifts, and linger. Since we no longer work together, there was much to catch up on, and all sorts of excellent gifts to exchange–LIKE DUVET SLIPPERS. WHAT?!

I have to thank our server for dealing with our shenanigans. There was wrapping paper and boxes everywhere, and once our food arrived, the table got even more chaotic.

The Chintz Room

Chaotic in the best way possible.

We ended up ordering the Midwest Poutine to share, twin chicken salad sandwiches for Alexis and Megan (house specialties), and a turkey club for the birthday girl. All of us felt obligated to get a side of the dressing (another famous dish from the hey day). I don’t know how this stacks up against the original, but I enjoyed my food, the space, and the company. I think it’s safe to say we had a great experience.

On our way out, I took a snapshot of the other dining room and bar area. Do you see the mannequin in the the corner with the jaunty Santa hat? So random. So excellent.

The Chintz Room

Ignore my box of presents in the foreground.

Unfortunately, I can’t tell you about the dessert. I wanted to try the bourbon bread pudding (bookmarked for next time!), but I had a dessert of another kind waiting for me at home. Enter Golden Delight’s Fresh Strawberry Cake–the stuff of dreams, and my annual birthday cake.

Golden Light Fresh Strawberry Cake

Though my birthday isn’t an ideal date (the day after Christmas! How can I compete!), I feel blessed to have so many great people in my life who make the effort to separate the two occasions. As I mentioned before, I associated Lazarus with the holidays, and this birthday lunch brought things full circle for me. We can never go back in time, but for an afternoon, it was nice to pretend.

The Chintz Room is located at 121 S. High Street, Columbus, OH. Open from 11a-11p seven days a week. Parking is on street.

Fox in the Snow Cafe

{by: alicia} The next time you’re in Italian Village, and in the mood for a pick me up, do yourself a favor and check out Fox in the Snow Cafe.

Since opening its doors in October, this cafe has amassed quite a following (myself included) thanks to its amazing atmosphere (so much natural light! so open and modern!) and wondrous drinks and pastries (HOMEMADE POP TARTS–hand pies if we’re being literal). It makes me curse my decision to live up north.

When I first heard about Fox in the Snow in late summer/early fall, my interest was immediate. THE NAME ALONE. I mean, have you SEEN a fox in the snow? It looks something like this.

Courtesy of zastavki.com

Courtesy of zastavki.com

Did you hear that? I apologize for shattering your eardrums. It was me making this loud “eeeeee” sound I do when something too adorable for words. Then I saw the official logo and knew I had found something special.

BEST LOGO.

BEST LOGO.

There is nothing better than a pouncing, hoppy fox. NOTHING. Exhibit A:

Sometimes, I overhype things in my head and end up being disappointed. In this case, my first visit confirmed my suspicions: THIS PLACE IS BOMB.

Pastries from Fox in the Snow Cafe Columbus

Fox in the Snow Cafe

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On my last visit, we made sure to get a variety of pastries and unanimously declared everything amazing. Cinnamon rolls? AMAZING. So soft, perfectly spiced with cinnamon, and the icing wasn’t cloying in the slightest. Also. The lattes (AMAZING) were beautiful and a perfect complement to our baked goods.

Fox in the Snow Cafe drinks

Also amazing were the egg sandwich and hand pie (aka the homemade Pop Tart). There were rave reviews on these, my friends. Look at the flaking crust on that pie. I can hardly contain myself.

Fox in the Snow Cafe Hand pie and egg sandwich

Now let’s take a gander at the doughnut, plump with various fillings and dusted with sugar. I know. By now you are filled with longing and don’t know what to do with yourself. I understand. Scroll on down to get the details to plan your own visit!

Fox in the Snow cafe doughnut
To experience the wonder that is Fox in the Snow, head down to 1031 N. 4th St. Tuesday through Friday from 7a-5p and the weekend from 8a-6p. Parking is available in the lot and on the street.

Guest Posting at Live Columbus Part Deux

{by alexis}–Alicia had so much fun a few weeks ago taking over the Live ColumbusInstagram, she insisted I give it a go. And so, last Thursday, I swapped my credentials for a new set and signed in to document my day. What follows is a quick recap, along with a few outtakes at the end!

We started the day with a walk in German Village. It’s gotten so cold, so quickly, don’t you think? I had to break out my serious winter coat far earlier than expected. Indy, on the other hand, doesn’t so much mind when the temperature dips. Must be that whole fur coat thing.

wander & whine | German Village

One of the perks of living in GV is the atmosphere. These bricks and lights and trees, oh my! Another perk? Pistacia Vera.

wander & whine | Pistacia Vera

I’ve lived here for over two years, and I STILL haven’t tried everything. This morning I treated myself to an almond croissant the size of a newborn, and a latte. If you like almond, go quickly here. It was the bomb.

Later on, I took some time to walk around Ohio State’s campus. Autumn is in full swing out here on the oval, and there was no shortage of beautiful photo opportunities.

wander & whine | ohio state university

Just on the other side of the oval, where you’ll find the Wexner Center for the Arts. I’ve got a date to visit the Transfigurations exhibit next week, but last week I only had time for lunch. Fortunately, you’ll find the singular Heirloom Cafe inside. Their menu has a seasonal focus and they’re committed to local sourcing. Also, their food is BEYOND delicious. I ordered the green chili bowl, with tender roasted chicken and tangy green chilis and enjoyed every hearty bite. My lunch dessert was that frothy pumpkin spice latte on the side.

wander & whine | heritage cafe

In the evening, Alicia and I met up at the Trader’s Haven Sip & Style event. The designers behind this showroom and interior design business served us cocktails, let us wander around, gawking at their wares, and even gave us a little how-to on how to set a festive holiday table. We’ll share more from the event soon!

wander & whine | trader's haven

After a few more errands together, we called it a night. I was happy to get home to my embarrassing stack of library books, and this face.

wander & whine

I had such fun with the Instagram takeover, and I’m so excited they gave me a shot!

Check out some outtakes below, featuring — who else? — Indiana Bones. Follow me on Instagram (@alexishattie) to keep up with me on the regular!

wander & whine | german village

can you spy our kitty friend?

wander & whine | german village

he’s not always the most cooperative model

Sunday Brunch at Ethyl & Tank

{by: alicia} It has come to my attention that we’re running out of new places to have brunch–we like long, lingering breakfasts, okay? Recently, Alexis and I had to get together to figure out some tech stuff (which meant it was going to be awhile), so deciding to do it over food was easy. The real issue was where and what food. After much thought, it occurred to me that we had talked about trying Ethyl & Tank once or twice, but never actually did it. Decision made, we gathered our laptops and met on campus for a long meal. But first, coffee.

Mocha for me, coffee for her.

Enormous mocha for me, thimble of coffee for her.

I think there was originally some foam art in my cup, so it was a little disappointing not to actually see it. No matter, the mocha was delicious. But if you’re looking for something a tad stronger, there is a Bloody Mary bar to cure what ails you.

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While warming up with our beverages, we glanced over the menu and had the usual argument over who was ordering what (we get food envy quite often).

Ethyl & Tank MenuEver since our taco truck adventure, I have been having a love affair with anything that sort of resembles what we ate, so I immediately claimed the breakfast tacos.

Ethyl & Tank Breakfast Tacos

Egg, chorizo, avocado, lettuce, cheese, and cilantro sour cream on the side.

They weren’t quite as authentic (obvs), but they did the trick. While I’m a sucker for tacos, Alexis can never say no to corned beef and hash. Our server told us the corned beef is made in-house, plus it came in an iron skillet, so I think she made a good choice.

Corned Beef & HashWe stayed for awhile to solve our technology woes (still not solved), and I liked that though we were checked on often, we didn’t feel like we had to rush out. After a hilarious live chat with tech support (holler at Braxton C.), we decided to call it a day, but first we went upstairs to check out the second level.

Birdseye view.

Birdseye view.

There’s plenty of seating on the second level if you want to get away from the hubbub, plus there’s the added benefit of an arcade.

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Real talk: I hate Rampage, but Street Fighter II is my jam–I was always Dhalsim. Those long limbs were unstoppable.

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As you can see, there’s a lot going on here. I’d call it a coffee shop/pub/choose your own adventure. It’s really whatever you want it to be. Want to have a latte and do some work? You do you. Would you rather watch the game and have a brew? Go for it. A quick meal? They’ve got you. Need a stress break in the arcade? I think you know where I’m going with this, so I’ll stop and give you the details.

Ethyl & Tank is located at 19 E. 13th Avenue, Columbus, Ohio. Hours are Monday through Sunday from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Brunching at Lindey’s

{by alexis}–The best part about hosting out-of-towners is that I get to play tour guide, and usher them to see (and eat!) the best Columbus has to offer. You may remember my good friends Suzanne and Nick from my first blog post ever. This time, they jetted in from Boston to catch the Virginia Tech game (Suze is a dedicated hokie), and after all that football (and maybe a few tears), we were ready for an extravagant brunch the next day. Lindey’s was really the only choice.

We rolled ourselves out of bed late — even Indiana Bones slept in! — and headed out the door. I love surprising guests: they are always shocked to learn we’re walking to the fancy brunch place! Yes, we in Ohio have walking neighborhoods, too!

lindey's

Their building is the picture of charm, don’t you think? The windows, the awning — it all works together. I love the design so much, that I actually used their font as inspiration for our wedding invitations! True story!

I love Lindey’s, but know they cater to a particular crowd. We were hustled out of the waiting area so the host could cheerily sit some of his regulars. Just be aware.

As hungry and tired as we were, we opted to skip the wait and eat in the dining room. The patio is beautiful, but after being exposed to the elements for most of the previous day, I was happy to soak in a little a/c and get out of the sun. We started where you should always start at brunch: Carpaccio. capraccioI’ve had it before here, and I’d be happy to make this a meal on its own. Everything about this dish is a win: the portabella strips are an earthy pairing, the chipotle aioli has an unexpected kick, and the arugula is the perfect crunch and bitter balance. Honestly, I’d like to wrap all this up like a burrito and eat it, but I have a feeling that might be frowned upon.

Suzanne and Nick chose an heirloom tomato flatbread, which was magnificent in its dollops of cheese and delicate vegetable slices. The flatbread is crispy, light, and makes a perfect appetizer. lindey'sOur main dishes were next up, and they did not disappoint. Suzanne went for this beautiful salmon salad, and reported back that the fish was cooked well, with lots of flavor. lindey'sWe all had a bit of a fight over who got to order the huevos rancheros, but lucky Nick won. He loved the pork belly, citing its crispy texture. I love pork belly, but have had more than a few super fatty pieces, but not here! Nick assured me that this was not one of those incidents.

lindey'sJoe went for the classic benedict. Honestly, the man is a sucker for hollandaise, and can you blame him? Hot butter and egg? I mean. Don’t fight it. lindey'sI ordered the crab & eggs, and it arrived in its own charming, little skillet. The potatoes were perfection: not too salty, and not bland, and the egg was cooked to perfection. And the crab was delightful. It’s rich and sweet and why don’t we always have this at breakfast? Mine came with its own generous helping of hollandaise which took the decadence up an extra notch or two. lindey'sFull and happy, we rolled ourselves home. I’m pretty sure I convinced Suzanne and Nick that fine dining exists outside of the East coast, and so do tree-lined cobblestone streets. Lindey’s is a reliable and beautiful neighborhood gem. Just don’t miss the carpaccio.

Lindey’s is located at 169 E. Beck Street. Sun-Thurs, 11am-10pm; Fri-Sat 11am-11pm.